INDIANAPOLIS – Brian Babcock, the 1985 U.S. National Champion and a member of the 1985 USA World Championships Team, passed away at 8:06 p.m. CDT on Sunday, October 18, from complications following a bone marrow transplant 65 days earlier. He was 38 years old.

A six-time U.S. National Team member, Babcock had been diagnosed with myelodysplasia, commonly referred to as “smoldering leukemia.” He underwent a bone marrow transplant on August 14, his only hope for defeating the disease. He died at his home in the Houston area with his mother and family at his side.
“The entire gymnastics community is deeply saddened by Brian’s passing,” said USA Gymnastics President Bob Colarossi. “He possessed unparalleled energy and excitement for the sport of gymnastics, which was reflected in his performance as an athlete and as a coach. Throughout his life, and especially in its final weeks, he demonstrated the tremendous strength of character which made him a champion in every sense of the word.”
Born in Garden City, Kansas, on July 11, 1960, Babcock attended Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in education in 1983 and a master’s degree in education in 1989. A member of the SIU Athletic Hall of Fame, he earned a bronze medal in all-around competition at the 1983 NCAA Championships in State College, Pa., also tying for the silver medal on parallel bars and the bronze on horizontal bar. In 1981, he claimed the silver on horizontal bar. At the 1983 Pan American Games in Caracas, Venezuela, he received the silver medal in the all-around, also placing second on still rings.
In 1985, he earned the title of National Champion at the McDonald’s Championships of the USA in Jacksonville, Fla., also claiming bronze medals in pommel horse and parallel bars. That same year, he won five gold medals (team, all-around, pommel horse, parallel bars and horizontal bar) and two bronze medals (floor exercise and still rings) at the National Sports Festival, later renamed the U.S. Olympic Festival, in Baton Rouge, La. He also was a member of the first men’s gymnastics team to compete in the Goodwill Games in 1986.
In 1989, Babcock accepted the position of boys’ program director at the Parkettes National Gymnastics Training Center in Allentown, Pa. He left Parkettes in 1996 to become partners with his former college teammate, Kevin Mazeika, in creating the Texas Sports Ranch in Baytown, Texas.
He is survived by his parents, David and Micki, and brother Jeff; his wife, Tammy, their two-year-old daughter, Jessica, and a 16-year-old stepdaughter, Kristin. Services will be held at 4 p.m. CDT on Thursday, October 22, at the Abundant Life Church in Clear Lake City, Texas. Donations may be made to “Friends for Brian,” 7704 N.W. Belevedere Parkway, Kansas City, MO 64152-4402.